The SEAT Alhambra - an acknowledged leader among today's full size people carriers and already crowned What Car? MPV of the Year in the UK - is now even more versatile thanks to the addition of four-wheel drive.
Making its public debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the new SEAT Alhambra 4WD is even more versatile, flexible and capable thanks to its permanent all-wheel drive.
Offered with a 140 PS 2.0 TDI powerplant and six-speed manual transmission, the extension to the already comprehensive SEAT Alhambra line-up adds a whole new range of travel possibilities for families, leisure and business drivers.
From the outset, SEAT's new MPV has claimed a top spot in its segment thanks to its practical bodyshell concept, maximum flexibility, innovative use of technology and outstanding efficiency. These features are backed up by exceptionally high quality build quality, great value pricing and a premium feel that comfortably exceeds expectations in the MPV sector.
This summer will see the new SEAT Alhambra 4WD join the SEAT line-up in showrooms - and with its permanent all-wheel drive, this version offers a major benefit in traction on every road surface and in every situation.
Driving safety and mobility in the face of wintry road conditions are boosted every bit as much as its performance as a towing vehicle. At the same time, the next-generation, electronically controlled all-wheel drive is set up for optimum driving dynamics. Thanks to the sophisticated design of its carefully tuned chassis, the SEAT Alhambra stays true to the spirit of the brand by delivering a surprising level of sporty driving fun - something not usually associated with MPVs. Yet the SEAT Alhambra's dynamism doesn't come at the expense of long-distance comfort.
The all-wheel drive system smoothly and quickly adapts the distribution of torque in line with the driving situation. Key to the system is an electronically controlled and hydraulically operated multi-plate clutch. To further improve the already excellent axle load distribution, the multi-plate clutch is mounted at the end of the drive shaft in front of the rear axle differential - which is also a re-engineered, extremely compact and highly robust component.
Running in an oil bath inside the central clutch is a disc set that can be pressed together in a continuously variable fashion using regulated hydraulic pressure. A control unit constantly analyses the driving conditions and, in the event that the front wheels slip, an electrically driven annular piston pump immediately builds up the oil pressure necessary for the clutch to divert a proportion of the driving force to the rear wheels. Thanks to a high-performance pressure accumulator, this process takes just a matter of milliseconds.
The SEAT Alhambra 4WD is equipped with a 2.0 TDI 140 PS diesel engine and manual six-speed transmission. These combine to deliver a potent mix of powerful performance and excellent efficiency.
The car is capable of 119 mph (191 km/h) and can sprint from rest to 62 mph in only 11.4 seconds. Meanwhile, the frugal TDI offers 47.1 mpg on the combined cycle (6.0 litres per 100 km) equating to a CO2 figure of just 158 g/km. Naturally the Ecomotive package, with brake energy recovery and automatic start/stop, has a major role to play in these figures. The MPV is also equipped with an SCR catalytic converter (Selective Catalytic Reduction) - placing it among the world's cleanest diesels.
In its home market the SEAT Alhambra 4WD will be offered as a five-seater in Reference and Style versions. The comprehensive standard equipment and many hi-tech options are identical to those offered on models with front-wheel drive.
Towards the end of the year, the SEAT Alhambra 4WD will also be available with six generous individual seats. This 2+2+2 seating arrangement further enhances the premium character of the SEAT Alhambra.
No decision has yet been made over whether right-hand drive versions of the new SEAT Alhambra 4WD will be offered for sale in the UK.Published 1 March 2011